Oklahoma tries again with sovereignty measure

Rick Moran
The Oklahoma legislature is once again attempting to pass a measure that would assert the state's sovereignty over certain federal government actions.

They passed a similar resolution 10 days ago only to watch Democratic Governor Brad Henry veto the bill, claiming it might mean he would have to return some federal stimulus dollars. This is a strawman argument and even some Democratic legislators are seeing through it.

What the bill would provide for is found on this NewsOK website:

[Rep. Charles] Key said HCR 1028, which, if passed, would be sent to Democratic President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, would not jeopardize federal funds but would tell Congress to "get back into their proper constitutional role." The resolution states the federal government should "cease and desist" mandates that are beyond the scope of its powers.

Key said many federal laws violate the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the U.S. government "are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." The Constitution lists about 20 duties required of the U.S. government, he said.

Congress should not be providing bailouts to financial institutions and automakers, he said.

"We give all this money to all these different entities, including automakers, and now they're talking about, ‘Well maybe it's better to let them go bankrupt,'" Key said. "Well, maybe we should have let them go bankrupt before we gave them the money."

Rep. Key's remarks take on additional meaning as we learned yesterday that Chrysler has no intention of paying back the $7 billion US taxpayers loaned them to keep afloat. This kind of common sense, so lacking in Washington, is part of a growing movement that is slowly appearing on the radars of Democrats.

Part of the "Tenth Amendment Movement, " the Oklahoma sovereignty bill is just one of several similar measures introduced in other states  as the Obama's stimulus bill ran roughshod over the rights of states by mandating changes in programs like workers' comp and welfare that would leave states holding the bag once federal funds dried up in a few years.

This is a movement whose time has come and liberals are starting to take notice. Matthew Yglesias smears backers of such resolutions as white supremacists:

Ed Kilgore has a very interesting post on a new trend sweeping conservative politics in Dixie-"sovereignty resolutions" that appear to assert states' rights to unilaterally invalidate federal action, a doctrine last seen in the hands of John C. Calhoun, the great antebellum theorist of white supremacy.

You know liberals are worried when they play the race card in a situation entirely related to federal incursions into the traditional powers of the states to determine their own tax and spending policies.

Yglesias should be worried. This movement is growing and by late summer or fall, it is probable that, coupled with the visibility that the tea parties are giving such issues, the constitutional limits of federal power will very much be an issue - one that conservatives find themselves on the right side of as far as both history and politics are concerned.



The Oklahoma legislature is once again attempting to pass a measure that would assert the state's sovereignty over certain federal government actions.

They passed a similar resolution 10 days ago only to watch Democratic Governor Brad Henry veto the bill, claiming it might mean he would have to return some federal stimulus dollars. This is a strawman argument and even some Democratic legislators are seeing through it.

What the bill would provide for is found on this NewsOK website:

[Rep. Charles] Key said HCR 1028, which, if passed, would be sent to Democratic President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress, would not jeopardize federal funds but would tell Congress to "get back into their proper constitutional role." The resolution states the federal government should "cease and desist" mandates that are beyond the scope of its powers.

Key said many federal laws violate the 10th Amendment, which says powers not delegated to the U.S. government "are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." The Constitution lists about 20 duties required of the U.S. government, he said.

Congress should not be providing bailouts to financial institutions and automakers, he said.

"We give all this money to all these different entities, including automakers, and now they're talking about, ‘Well maybe it's better to let them go bankrupt,'" Key said. "Well, maybe we should have let them go bankrupt before we gave them the money."

Rep. Key's remarks take on additional meaning as we learned yesterday that Chrysler has no intention of paying back the $7 billion US taxpayers loaned them to keep afloat. This kind of common sense, so lacking in Washington, is part of a growing movement that is slowly appearing on the radars of Democrats.

Part of the "Tenth Amendment Movement, " the Oklahoma sovereignty bill is just one of several similar measures introduced in other states  as the Obama's stimulus bill ran roughshod over the rights of states by mandating changes in programs like workers' comp and welfare that would leave states holding the bag once federal funds dried up in a few years.

This is a movement whose time has come and liberals are starting to take notice. Matthew Yglesias smears backers of such resolutions as white supremacists:

Ed Kilgore has a very interesting post on a new trend sweeping conservative politics in Dixie-"sovereignty resolutions" that appear to assert states' rights to unilaterally invalidate federal action, a doctrine last seen in the hands of John C. Calhoun, the great antebellum theorist of white supremacy.

You know liberals are worried when they play the race card in a situation entirely related to federal incursions into the traditional powers of the states to determine their own tax and spending policies.

Yglesias should be worried. This movement is growing and by late summer or fall, it is probable that, coupled with the visibility that the tea parties are giving such issues, the constitutional limits of federal power will very much be an issue - one that conservatives find themselves on the right side of as far as both history and politics are concerned.